Avian guests

It is almost five years ago that I shifted into my new apartment. It was in the month of October, and as November ushered in, the cold became unbearable. The walls of the new apartment were drying up and we were placed at the dead end of east Jayaynagar, which was previously a place that housed a large estate. No wonder it was so cold. I still remember the extreme cold for a special reason...

The complex is still surrounded and inundated by greenery, which is a luxury! The soothing and sashaying branches of the few trees that are left behind create a canopy against the bright blue sky, and this is a scene I would watch with awe whenever I went into my small balcony. One tree that stood out, was the tall and mighty silver oak just a few yards from my house. The leaves sparkled and shone as it caught the bright light of the gleaming sun.

One winter morning, amidst the leaves of the silver oak, I caught sight of flash of bright white and then I saw the flapping red wings.  It was the Garuda the kite with the white crest and red wings. It was building its nest atop the luscious branches of the silver oak. Watching the birds (they were now two) that perched on the branches of the coconut trees or circled high above in the sky had now become my pastime. A few months down the line I saw four of them in all their majesty flying high, but diving back regularly into their nest atop the tree.

As summer crept in they had disappeared, but year after year they returned just as the season turned into winter and they are here back now, my avian guests and they are a treat to watch. The other welcome guests every winter are the white migratory birds that fly in relentlessly from miles afar to decorate the smaller shrubs and look like whiffs of cotton wool. When I see them after a long break, I am reminded that winter is just round the corner. Their snow white feathers are quite a contrast to their deep yellow beaks, and when they fly they fly together and what a spectacle they create!

So often these birds hold me mesmerised, time seems to stand still and then I suddenly wake up from where I stand and watch transfixed in their beauty and colour. I have to move on, there is so much to do, have I wasted my time I sometimes wonder and then I realise that it’s these wondrous moments that gives me a new lease of energy. Will these magical moments last? I pray it does, and for the tall oak tree and the staunch shrubs to invite its guests back home, year after year!

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